Food For Thought

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Kate Glover, 11/26/2015

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with gaining weight during the holiday season. With our nation’s tradition of pairing every holiday with copious amounts of food, it’s not really a surprise when we see the numbers on the scale increase. That’s why, come January 1st, many of us hit the gym with fresh New Year's resolutions to shed the extra pounds and get in shape. But why wait until after the holidays to make healthy decisions?

It all starts with Thanksgiving.

The turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cookies, and pies can be overwhelming. It all looks so delicious displayed across the table. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to try everything, and you definitely don’t have to eat until you’re too full to move.

Here are some things you can do to do to make sure you have a healthy Thanksgiving:

Pay Attention to Plate Portions

On average, Americans eat 2-3 servings of produce a day—only half the amount we should be eating. The USDA recommends filling at least half of your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal (even on Thanksgiving!). While there will most likely be way more unhealthy dishes on the table, chances are there will be some healthy options as well. Fill at least half of your plate with homemade salad, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, fruit, natural cranberry sauce… whatever is healthiest!

Eat the Good Stuff First

By eating the healthy, delicious foods first, you’ll have less room for the unhealthy temptations that are begging you to indulge.

Bring a Healthy Dessert

You’ve made it through dinner without overeating and filling your body with foods you know aren’t good for your health. But here comes dessert, and you’re fighting a losing battle with your sweet tooth.

But it doesn’t have to be your downfall!

Think ahead, and volunteer to bring a healthy dessert. Make a dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your health, like this pumpkin pie, chocolate mousse, carrot cake, blueberry delight, or these cookies.

Be Active

Don’t just sit around in a food coma after stuffing your face. Be active! Go for a walk with your family after dinner. It can be a fun way to stay healthy while enjoying the holiday together.


How do you stay healthy on Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below!

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